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The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.209 Thursday, 24 April 2014
Date: April 24, 2014 at 6:42:34 AM EDT
Subject: The Sonnets
John Drakakis now begrudgingly acknowledges that a reasonable narrative sequence may be perceived in the Sonnets. He objects—and I (yet again) fully accept - that there are other ways to interpret the poems. What he continues to ignore are the distinctive features of the narrative interpretation—its unique coherence with independent historical data, the qualities of that data and the consequential ability to explain otherwise unresolved issues of publication.
It is clear that he has not even glanced at the display of these phenomena—he thinks that I identify Wriothesley with Mr WH, for example. Instead, he is more concerned with imaginary consequences (should the poems become accepted as probable, rather than possible, replications of communication with Wriothesley). He also attempts to deflect the argument into an illogical conflation with a discredited thesis, which I have never inferred: “that no critic can write forcefully on such an issue unless they themselves have ‘experienced’ the phenomenon for themselves".
I have no objection to his disinterest in the topic of autobiography in the Sonnets. I challenge, however, his right to pooh-pooh it, when he refuses to examine relevant evidence put before him.